stage fright

I am plagued by insufferable stage fright. And while I compensate for this greatly by throwing myself out there in the face of my fears and giggle my way through some of it, it is a fact – I live with fears.

While I know I am not alone in this matter, I know how extremely paralyzing this can be. The stage-frightened stand at the periphery of life feeling immobile, not knowing if they will make it to the other side alive. If there is an audience or a judgement, this paralysis can be even worse. It can cease and desist any and all movement in the mind, body and soul that propels them forward.

I love watching the people who can dance across the stage in their solo events. I study those who can move blissfully with the rhythms of life while I stand on the sidelines contemplating my fears, inadequacies and short-comings. I wonder in awe about where they get their courage and fortitude from. Where they find their confidence. I examine them closely to learn from their fearless confidence.

What I have found while sitting on the sidelines for so long is that everyone – every single person – is scared in their own way. (If they tell you they are not, they are lying or are seasoned professionals at the task at hand) The difference is in how they are covering it. Some (like myself) cover it with an act. Some medicate. While others face their fears and angst with sheer bravery and real courage plowing through it all. Through all this, what I find most comforting is that while we all stand Stage Right with knees knocking waiting for our turn to shine and leap across the stage in our sparkly, sequined costumes, almost every person is watching us with empathy in their hearts while they quietly cheer us on from the audience. Everyone knows how we feel in that moment. And nobody – not one decent person – can ever judge us for trying our very best.

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Julie Engler Miles - I love this! Beautifully written! May I borrow your photo?

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